RECENT AND UPCOMING MEETUP TOPICS

March Meetup – Techno-Optimism and Effective Accelerationism

For our March discussion meetup, we’ll be diving into another topical Rationality subculture offshoot: the effective accelerationists (e/acc). A lot of this discourse is Twitter optimized, but there is a coherent techno-optimist ideology that is at odds with the more safety-conscious Berkeley rationality culture. We will discuss techno-optimism more broadly,

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February Meetup – Lighting Talks

For our February discussion meetup, we’ll be hosting another round of lightning talks (and discussions). The lighting talks will be 5-10 minute presentations (plus additional time for discussion) presented by members of the Chicago Rationality community. The discussions will be less of a presentation and more of a short, participatory

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January Meetup – The Mechanistic Interpretability Agenda

Astral Codex Ten recently posted an explainer of Anthropic’s paper “Towards Monosemanticity: Decomposing Language Models with Dictionary Learning.” Since we haven’t had a discussion meetup specifically focused on AI in awhile, this seems like as good of a time as any! Since the content in the ACX explainer and the

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December Meetup – Governing the Commons

We will be discussing “governing the commons.” We will talk about some of Elinor Ostrom’s classic work on how communities self-organize, and we’ll also look at a fun article on the perils of establishing shared social norms in a children’s game of four square. Here’s the suggested reading: Please feel

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November Meetup – Degrowth

The next monthly discussion meetup is Saturday, November 4 @ 2 PM. For this meetup, we’ll be discussing degrowth, a proposal to move away from economic growth, in particular as measured by gross domestic product, as the central goal of a healthy economy and society. Some proponents of degrowth emphasize

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October Meetup – Lightning Discussions

The next monthly discussion meetup is Saturday, October 7 @ 2 PM. For this meetup, we’ll be doing ⚡️lightning discussions⚡️. We did lightning talks in May, and this seemed to go well! We are going to experiment with a more interactive and lower stakes version of this format. We’ll have

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September Meetup – Meetups Everywhere

In lieu of our normal “first Saturday of the month discussion meetup,” we will be hosting an Astral Codex Ten Meetups Everywhere meetup on Saturday, 9/9 in Grant Park. These meetups tend to draw a larger and more varied group of people than a typical Chicago Rationality meetup, so this

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August Meetup – Learning to Learn

We will be discussing learning for this month’s discussion meetup. Given that most of us who are on this email list are the kinds of people who will read scientific papers for fun and take time out of our weekend afternoons to discuss them, we should probably think about whether or not

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July Meetup – P*st-Rationality

We will be discussing p*st-rationality — or, warning NSFW: post-rationality — for this next month’s discussion meetup. Many of our regular attendees have soaked themselves in the Twitter milieu of post-rationality, but there are some background readings below as well. Whether you are rat, rat-adjacent, post-rat, post-post-rat, or you just like

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June Social Meetup – Grant Park (6/17 @ 2 PM)

For this month’s social meetup/get-together, we’re going to meet Sat. 6/17 starting at 2 PM in Grant Park, off E Balbo Dr just east of the tracks (around here: 41.873316961834156, -87.62199462310765). We’ll supply a large folding table and some drinks and snacks. Feel free to bring outdoor games, additional drinks/snacks,

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